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Duluth Art Fair to feature variety of work by local, regional artists

The Duluth Art Fair is going two-storied this year. The popular art fair, which features a stunning variety of beautiful work from artists throughout the region, usually fills the Great Hall in the Depot each year with art work and enthusiastic c...

The Duluth Art Fair is going two-storied this year. The popular art fair, which features a stunning variety of beautiful work from artists throughout the region, usually fills the Great Hall in the Depot each year with art work and enthusiastic crowds.
This year that scenario will be expanded to include the Balcony Gallery on the second floor overlooking the Great Hall.
"I think it's going to be terrific," said Pat Joyelle, a fiber artist who will be exhibiting her work at the fair. She along with fused glass artist Penny Clark, who also is exhibiting, have been working for months organizing all the details of the event.
Opening up the Balcony Gallery to artists has been a win-win, Clark said. Not only will patrons be able to experience the beauty of the Great Hall from a different perspective, they'll also be able to see the work of 12 new artists.
"People will have choices on two stories rather than just one," Clark said. "It'll be a great fair."
The Duluth Art Fair has always prided itself on a wide variety of artwork it offers. This year is no exception.
Ceramics, jewelry, wood, decorative and wearable fiber, leather, painting and prints and two dimensional and three-dimensional mixed media works will be in the show.
It should be a feast for art lovers and Christmas shoppers alike, Joyelle said.
Peder Heglund, for example, is new this year and crafts beautifully incised stoneware. Deb L'Air and Meg Campbell are also new this year, joining the strong component of potters always featured at this juried show.
Richard Gruchalla and Carrin Rosetti will be back again this year, as will Cheryl and Bob Husby, Dave Lynas and Jan Andler, Karin Kraemer, Martye Allen and Linda Day.
Fiber art is also strong. Jane Fisher Merritt is new to the art fair as is Ann Tacker, who specializes in dye painted silk clothing, and Monica Peters and Ann Taecker. Popular fiber artists who return this year include weavers Debbie Cooter and Karen Thompson-Monson as well as Erika Mock, who makes handwoven bags and pouches, to name a few.
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Wood artists are well-represented again this year as well, Clark said. Lance Campbell, who makes candle holders, mirrors and clocks is new this year, and joins artists like Paul Schuster, who makes handmade cooking utensils and Bob Carls, an award-winning wood turner as well as furniture maker George Baker.
Three new jewelers will be exhibiting at the art fair -- Gail Jacobson, M'lou Baker and Patricia Lenz. Carmen Olejniczak, whose exquisite work has always been popular, will have a booth as well.
Zuxin Yu, who works in acrylics, is also new to the fair as is Laura Leonard, who creates stunning beaded sculptures.
One of the most popular features of the Art Fair is the raffle. Each artist donates a piece worth at least $25. "Many of them donate an item worth much more than that," Clark said. Patrons can buy a ticket for 50 cents and don't have to be present to win. The raffle helps fund next year's fair. This year, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Sept. 11 Fund, she said.
Alotti Biscotti is providing refreshments which will include a light meal, Joyelle said, and tables and chairs will be set up in the rotunda area so that guests can be seated.
Doors open at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2.
The art fair is open through 7 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, giving the community plenty of time to discover the inspiration of art in the Northland.

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